stigma n. An association of disgrace or public disapproval with something, such as an action or condition.
Motherhood comes with a crap load of stigmas. If you don't fall in love with your baby the second you lay eyes on them, if you're not happy every second of the day with a newborn....and don't get me started on how society views you if you're not the happy-go-lucky-mama that loves every minute of every day with an annoying smile on her face. And God forbid you can't juggle said newborn, and a full time job, plus cooking dinner, shopping, laundry, cleaning and taking care of the dogs that demand just as much of your time as the baby. Oofda!
Well. F U society.
Sorry, but becoming a mother did not magically turn me into Superwoman. I am human. I am a person. I am the same person I was before, except now I give a few less shits about your opinion and am slightly less grossed out by bodily fluids.
I honestly do not understand why these stigmas are placed on new moms. I also don't understand how if you have a good father in your life to help you (uh, be a parent?) with baby, that it's shocking. Like people expect the dad to never get up in the middle of the night or change a diaper. What's up with that people??? I know it's been awhile but last time I checked, it took two people to make that little baby that blessed our lives.; it only makes sense that both parties take equal responsibility in making sure it's happy and alive. Stop being so shocked when this is the case.
Anyways....it has literally kept me up at night before wondering where these stigmas came from. (A man, probably). Because everyone else, even mothers themselves, think they're perfect, therefore they naturally feel the need to pass judgement on other people? PPD/PPA holds such a stigma in our society that many women, most women, who suffer from it fear it. Dear mama, do not fear. These are normal feelings. Your entire life just changed. Some people at a hospital just sent you home with a complete stranger and told you to keep them alive and healthy and you have no.idea.what.you're.doing. But be happy about. I call bullshit. It's HARD! So yes, emotions, anxieties, fears and terror will come over you. These feelings might stay for a little while, or they might linger around for days and weeks and months.....but you do not need to fear this. You are not alone. Society is the one with the problem. And trust me mama, I wish I knew why they had such a stick up their butt towards new mothers, but I don't. But what I can tell you is that if we come together and raise awareness, come together and stop the fear, maybe we can end the stigma. Let's talk about it. Let's make people so uncomfortable with the topic that they have no choice but to become comfortable with it. Being happy with a newborn should be just as normal as being miserable, because you know what? It is!
You can help. You can make a difference. Visit Post Partum Progress to learn more about raising awareness and ending the stigmas that follow perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. And don't forget to support the cause for the June 20th Climb, the largest international event for raising this awareness.